The FA issue updated COVID-19 guidance

By James Gordon

The UK Government has confirmed that organised sports can continue as an exemption to its latest planned measures in response to COVID-19.

That includes the Northern Premier League, as part of Steps 3-6 of the National League System, as well as Tiers 3-6 of the Women's Football pyramid and outdoor grassroots football.

Organised football activity is currently permitted at these levels but it is extremely important that clubs, players, coaches, match officials, league officials, volunteers, parents, carers, and facility providers continue to strictly follow both the UK Governments’ latest guidance on COVID-19 and respective bespoke guidelines from the FA.

Re-starting the game at these levels has been a significant challenge for everyone involved and we must acknowledge the hard work, passion and commitment of the football family. However, it is vital that we all adhere to these guidelines and ensure it can continue in a safe and secure way.

As part of this exemption, The FA can also clarify that clubs at Steps 3-6 of the NLS and Tiers 3-4 of the WFP remain permitted to accommodate a phased and limited return of spectators if they follow the UK Governments’ latest guidance on Covid-19 and The FA’s guidelines for the NLS or WFP.

Clubs in the Regional NLS Feeder Leagues, Tiers 5-7 of the WFP and outdoor grassroots football also remain permitted to accommodate socially-distanced spectators but they too must adhere to the UK Governments’ latest guidance on Covid-19 and The FA guidelines for outdoor grassroots football.

Supporters are the life force of our national sport and The FA hopes to see them return in greater numbers across the country as soon as it is safe and possible. However, we must continue to work together and play our part by following all the relevant guidelines if this is to become a reality.

The FA remains in consultation with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, the Sports Grounds Safety Authority, leagues and competitions and will provide an update on the further returns of supporters – including scheduled pilot events – in due course.

Updated frequently asked questions on the FA's COVID-19 guidelines can be accessed here.

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